Hey, so the thing that I hate about a lot of recent hardcore bands is that they almost to a single band, drench their vocals in reverb, making them a unintelligible mess of wooob-wooob-wooooob-grabaala – reducing them to another inhuman element of a band, a gutteral noise in some cases, an absolute wall of noise element in others. For me, bands who are doing this are doing a vast disservice to one of the key elements of what makes punk special; that a band has an opinion and can share that with people by making a band and recording to share with an audience. Gag previously decided to reduce their vocals to an unintelligible element – but have backed off that, on this release. So I’m very happy to hear that they actually chose to make words able to be discerned, and actually heard without too much difficulty.
The album starts off strong, and thematically similar to their previous releases – feedback of some nature and into a mid-tempo song sure to make you nod your head at least. Still sitting somewhere in between a more hardcore version of Flipper and Sex Vid, but this recording clears up some of the muddiness of earlier recorded output, without really changing the sound of the band. It’s really something to be able to really zone in on elements of the band that went unnoticed before. For instance, the way the bass supports and reinforces the drums throughout the songs – never really paid attention to that in other Gag releases, but here it’s something I noticed. “High Off Gun Powder” has a riff that is reminiscent of something I’ve heard before, which isn’t a bad thing – but I’m usually pretty good a figuring it out and it’s going to bug me for the absolute rest of time. I’d say that as a whole product, the album starts strong, with the first third (from “Mad Dog” to “Nobody’s Smile”) is hit after hit. Well, maybe that’s overstating it a touch, but it’s pretty strong. From “Prison Wife” to “London Fog” the influence shifts from listening to Flipper too much to listening to maybe Megadeth too much? There’s a predominance of dive bomb guitars, and just whammy bar action that back to back puts me off a touch. The album gets back on track with a couple of uptempo bangers (“Future Scream” and “Taki Boombah”) and ends on an electroclash style number that leaves me flat. All in all, a solid release that maybe suffers a touch from sequencing too many similar songs together. You should probably grab this if you liked any of their previous work, because this is as good and shows the maturity of the songs of a band that’s somewhere near eight years old at this point.